Short Takes Norm Home
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Norm's Soapbox-
My corner of Hyde Park
Read, don't just listen to what they say, because that will change. I leave items here long after they fade into the past, just so I don't have to say "I told you so!", but you can say "You said that!", be it an accurate prediction, or dead wrong.

Democracies

Find it odd that Trump admires Putin, Kim Jong-un, Duterte, Assad, Erdogan, Farage, and strong-man politicians and claims a great mandate while loosing the popular vote by about 2%?

Constituion Originalists

I find it very ironic that Constituion Originalists who supported Trump would not have succeeded if the Founding Father's intent had been followed and the Electoral College been elected by district and had the responsiblity to deliberate. Read the Constitution and Ammendments, especially the 14th.

Threat?

Does it seem impossible that the FBI, NSA, etc. could find 10,000 refugees that just want to survive and work in the millions fleeing the the war and killing we helped start? That don't want to shoot up a school or Planned Parenthood?

Why?

Why does Trump remind me of the early NAZI party? Is it the blaiming ills on others? Or the hate and fear of others? Or bombastic claims of greatness?

Credibility

The same people told us atmospheric nuclear testing was OK, and tobacco was fine, asbestos did not cause cancer, money would trickle down, and the bank speculation in the markets were going to make us all richer. Now they say the geometrically increasing CO2 from fossil fuels has nothing to do with climate change. Can you believe them now?

Safer Where...

Since we can safely imprison Manson, Dalmer, Ramirez, etc., does'nt it suggest we can imprison terrorists in the U.S. instead of giving ISIL and their like Gitmo as a propaganda point demonstrating hypocricy and supporting a claim of a religious war? And save a lot of money on top of eliminating some propagand and a blot on our reputation?

Who's Going To Pay?

Strangely, there is one group primarily responsible for the biggest current problems without paying for them. When the democratically elected government of Iran showed signs of wanting Iran to get the profit from its oil, the Western governments, primarily the U.S., overthrew it and installed the Shah, who owing the west, preserved foreign oil profits and severely repressing those who objected with his secret police, so only the most radical mosques sheltered them. When the dictatorial Shah was overthrown, the radicals were in power, promoting more extremism, which spread with the hate of foreign powers controlling and profiting from their poverty. Bush 1 smuggled Saddam Hussein into Iran to keep control of oil. Bush 2 said that oil would pay for the second Iraq war. Arms were poured in by both militaries, first to Osama bin Laden and his like against Russia, then in opposition when he learned he could chase a super power out. With plenty of arms, current and historic conflicts have escalated, creating millions of war and economic refugees. Add to them refugees of weather exacerbated by human induced climate change with five times the fossil energy in reserves than can be used without more disastrous results, and we can identify the source of the problem. Fossil energy profiteers deny their roll in ads while they have suppressed much knowledge of their admitions of responsibility in court and to each other. These super capitalists continue profiting while the taxpayer pays for their damage to land, water, air, people, politics, and our future.

Gay Marriage

Great emotion has been involved in gay marriage. The truth is shown in the the fact of a Marriage License, a government function of assigning responsibility. They were established for royalty to control inheritance. Marriage has been used to prevent wars, gain wealth, citizenship, and relatively recently for children and love. Government interest is in establishing responsibility, hence a marriage license. Religion and sex are solely the participant's interest, not government. Mutual consent for the responsibilty is the point, so government must say you can't marry a rock, dog, or baby, and must not involve religion, sex, race, or adult age.

Gay? So What?

Much ado is made of homosexuality, with much fear. We have learned that sex involves many differences and hormones, with multiple effects. The upshot is that there is a continuum. While a heterosexual may find the naked body of their own sex as arousing as a brick, and that of the opposite sex very arousing, the opposite may be true for a homosexual. There are also bisexuals aroused by both, and asexual people that just aren't interested. It really does not matter if you are not aroused by what arouses me. So what? I don't like lite beer. You got a problem with that? That would be Your problem.

Poisoned?

Republicans say Obama "poisoned" the politics by his executive order to not deport 5 million immigrants for 3 years. Considering the Republican leadership swore to oppose the President on everything in 2009, I say they did it then. The House had over 500 days to vote on the bill passed by the Senate but never did. They say immigration is broken but refuse to fix it. It looks like employers who paid the undocumented below minimum wage were the prize, for deporting that 5 million would destroy the economy again, as Bush did.

ISIS

McCain now says we must fight ISIS. Last year he said we must arm ISIS to fight Assad. The Republican approach again in evidence, just as Bush senior aided Osama bin Laden against Russia.

Privacy?

Snowdon's statement is most important: "These programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation, they're about power." Note that we do not know the NSA/DHS budget, and DOD gets 58% of the discretionary budget, which is funded in part with SS taxes. Social Security Trust funds were included in the general fund to help pay for Vietnam.

State FDC Managment

Current Fairview Developmental Center management appears intent on closing all Developmental Centers by mismanagement with routine violations of the contract claiming over the last half year is an emergency, forcing mandatory overtime shifts (working 16 hours straight) with a threat of charges of felony endangerment and insubordination. I shall be out of state employment, and I hope the managers as well, by year's end. [I Succeeded, State failed. 12/'13]

Trayvon

Much indignation and protest against Zimmerman is a backhanded insult to Trayvon, ignoring the obvious. Trayvon bloodied the nose and back of Zimmerman's head. Attacking after seeing the gun would be stupid, so Trayvon initiated the attack on a man he could beat up. The hot headed watchman should have stayed in the car, but got beat up, and in rational fear, used the gun. Both were aggressive and pay a price, but beating a man with a gun will likely cost your life. Mutual aggression is the cause, as usual. The color is Red... Herring.

Snowdon

Since the publication of the existence of the splitter on international communication lines in San Francisco, and the FBI's Carnivore program, any terrorist, militia man, and half the Libertarians, liberals, and people living outside the US have assumed all communication in the US is monitored. As such, Snowdon did not help any enemy, unless the enemy is the American people. We now know the FBI and NSA spy on and lie to the American people. Manning told us the military lies to us. And now the Congress confirms lies are the rule.

Class Warfare?

Republicans are again calling any increase in taxes paid by the wealthy class warfare. Warren Buffett says 30% is fair so his secretary would not pay a higher rate than he. Financial terminology suggests what the problem is: Capital gains, known as Unearned Income, is taxed at 15%, a rate lower than for earned income, with the claim that is needed to get investment in business. The very rich will not allow their millions to inflate away, but will invest to try to grow their money faster than inflation. Fairness says EARNED Income should be taxed at the lower, or same rate as Unearned Income, and the rich will still profit from investment. After all, the Capital Gains are the result of the work of those who get Earned Income for doing something. The deficit will be reduced by increased economic activity, not by cutting out supports for workers.

Debit

Republicans want to simply cut, harming the least able to deal with economic grief to give benefits to the rich. Social Security is intended to be solvent, but they have used SS taxes to fund the government. It should be a separate fund, not part of the general fund, and decisions for SS should be JUST SS. Using my SS taxes to give oil companies a tax break when they have record profits is not acceptable. Business with the very rich have profited from the war (kept out of the budget by Republicans under Bush), the real estate bubble with fraudulent mortgages, and fraudulent markets with banks and hedge funds unregulated due to Republican objections to restricting them to legal transactions. None dare call that treason, although it harmed the nation and world economy. With Social Security removed from the fray, the military expenditures, more than double the rest of the world combined, will look a lot more dangerous to the US than any NGO. They are terrified of a truly business like approach, which would get funding from the most lucrative sources and aim expenditures where the greatest return on investment is available and most vulnerable parts needing strengthening.

Abbottabad?

The surprise of finding Ossama in a luxury compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, possibly for five to six years, near the capital does not surprise me. "Keep your enemies closer" applies here, for a high security facility amid others by some rich guy does not stick out that much, and there was doubt that the US would touch a Pakistani military town, or that close to the capital. As well as a belief that Pakistani operation would be known, with a credible identity, it suggests it was the safest place, under the nose of the military. In a poorer area, or more civilian area, it would have stuck out, an inverted prison. Maybe you really want to know who your neighbor really, really is!

Budgeting

Those that say the government should be run like we must run our own budget better use a mirror- it has. With Americans owing an average of $8000.00 in credit card debt on top of a mortgage and a second, we do not manage money well. The loan shark is next.

Budget Cuts

The Republicans are demanding budget cuts, saying the national debit is too big. They insisted the tax cut be extended for the very richest. They prohibit medicare from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies. They refuse to cut subsidies for agribusiness to not grow crops while food prices rise. They refuse to eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies enjoying record profits. They tried to spend money on the Pentagon on items that it did not want.
Instead, Republicans cut spending on infrastructure, education, health, and welfare. Headlines demonstrate we are aware infrastructure maintenance has been deferred too long to the point of failure, we lag in education when we need to lead, health is defense of the public, and many suffer economic disaster due to the malfeasance of Wall Street corporations which have been rescued by the public funds.
Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare which receive funding from worker's pay checks to pay for their priorities in the military, corporations, and the very rich. With 90% of the wealth in the hands of 2%, the defense expenditures are predominantly protecting the few at the expense of the many.

A modest proposal:

Solve the illegal immigration and the budget problems by enforcing the law. Deport every illegal immigrant and prosecute the employer, imposing the $10,000.00 fine for each. The jobs thus made available would eliminate the unemployment problem, the fines would cover the budget, and the market efficiency would eliminate inefficient companies that can not operate without illegals by bankruptcy.

Religious Extremists

We are having quite a time with religious extermists, ranging from Ossama bin Laden to Terry Jones. Both enrich themselves by enlisting religious hatreds, trying to force their will on others. They do violence to people and their claimed religion. Why are the three peoples "of the book" responsible for more killing, especially of each other, in violation of their claimed belief, than other religions?

Ex-CEOs

We have two Republican ex-CEOs running for office that are yelling "JOBS!" who were responsible for shipping jobs abroad. The notion that executives that were fired by their boards are the best for the state of California is less than reasonable. I wish imprisonment were an available recourse for flagerant "truth in advertizing" violations. Meg Whitman has demonstrated the most remarkable disregard for the truth, government, and liable and slander laws. Factcheck.org should be checked for everything she says.

God and Country

Any surprise here? "God and country" invoked against the "God and country" of a soldier called a "camel jockey", and then sending him to help in a war some of his brother soldiers say is against "towel head Muslims". When he finds his reports of what he believes are war crimes, and exhibitions of prejudice against Muslims are ignored, military justice is compromised. This is what I call an obvious problem.

Peace Prize

"He had not done anything in the first 11 days!" How about ordering the closure of Gitmo, ordering the closure the secret CIA prisons, and ending torture, and reversing the entire course of the Super Power's foreign policy to CO-operation instead of edict and demand? Who do you help, the tough guy that says do it or else, or the guy that asks for and offers help? "Can I help you push your car into your driveway to fix it?" or "GET THAT HEAP out from in front of my house OR ELSE?" Who starts a fight, who avoids one?

Endangering National Security

We hear claims that we should not investigate the interrogations by the CIA because we will "Endanger National Security" and they were just following orders. In the Nuremberg trials we prosecuted those who "just followed orders" and those who gave those orders, and imprisoned them.

Parole

While the case of Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard's captor, has led to clamors for greater prison terms and greater restrictions, it truly reinforces my call all along for a more intelligent approach. Realistic parole monitoring would have caught this act, and can mean a safer society with less imprisonment. If the parole officer's case load allows and requires adequate supervision, we pay less for prison and we get tax payers with a chance and vested interest in keeping a job and not re-offending.
We deny the truth in our own lives, for most teenagers have tried shoplifting, but most grow up to be useful citizens without very long prison terms, and pay for the prisons. The broad brush could prove much more destructive, for in truth, isn't EVERY John a violator of our sex laws, and therefore a sex offender to be kept 2500 feet from any school? Is hitting a hooker the same as raping a child?

Compassion

Kenny MacAskill freed Abdel Basset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds because he is dying of prostate cancer. Conservative Christians in the U.S. have berated him for an act that Jesus exemplified. He has single handedly saved the Scottish government the cost of cancer treatment, prevented claims of martyrdom, and shown a true christian value inviting a less contentious view of the developed countries.

Gas Tax

The argument that raising the gas tax will make it impossible for people to drive is false. The proposed increase to $0.28 from $0.18 is less than the oil companies raised the price in a week, even when the cost of oil is dropping. The percentage of the price is less than a decade ago. Raising the tax to 20% would not raise the price of gas according to the free market theory, since the oil companies charge what the market will bare. The difference would be that more money would be available to repair roads, and raising prices would not be as profitable since reduced demand would offset the profit sooner. Why shouldn't the public benifit, since public roads make the market?

Power corupts...

For the past administration money has ruled. Oil companies were allowed to raise the price of gasoline from a dollar a gallon to over four times that while the price of oil did not quadruple and other expenses did not rise. Bank CEOs, who's job is to guide and protect their companies, allowed and encouraged liar's loans (only criminals have a stong reason to avoid proper documentation) and hid toxic assets to sell them to the world, but were rewarded with millions. The rich seem to believe "steal a grand and go to prison", steal a million and it is OK. Damaging the world economy is Not a crime?

Prophecy

The pro prop 8 ads tried to raise the specter of kids being taught there is such a thing as same sex marriage, their religious freedom endangered, and churches might loose their tax exemptions. Did the Later Day Saints note that the Bush administration tried to eliminate the tax exemption of a church that preached against an aggressive war as being politicly active, and we now know the LDS took an active role in raising a major portion ($12 million+) of the pro 8 war chest?

Saved

George W. Bush seems to think that being "saved" means he can do as he damn well pleases without any consequences. This was NOT founded as a Christian nation (see Treaty of Tripoli) and he hates and wishes to kill Muslems, in conflict with Christ's Sermon on the Mount admonishing followers to love their neighbors and enemies (Matthew 5:34-44). If impeachment (without conviction) was appropriate for Clinton, what is appropriate for a man that violates the constitution and his oath to defend it, lies to the American people, congress, engages in an unnecessary war killing mostly innocent people, and eliminates a court decided penalty for a crony (in a crime his administration is implicated in)? I think he needs to get born again...


Copyright 2000-2015 Norman Montgomery; All rights reserved.